We waited more than two years to get through Covid so we could get together and play cards again. Covid took a lot from us, our game included. You can imagine the excitement of finally getting it back. The heavenly game of poker was upon us again. And we really needed it.
It was spring, and Krebs (Kevin Forrest) was back from Montana to play with us for a couple of weeks. We had five games. The first was at Marla’s. The second — the last one Kevin would be able to play before going back home — was at David’s on Lieutenant Island.
There were six of us at that game on the island. We started the evening sitting outside on the deck having drinks. Enjoying the view. A couple of coyotes passed by. We howled at them. Didn’t bother them at all. Just passing through.
We took our time before the game began. Steamed clams, hummus, crackers and things. We drank old-fashioneds. Ate a little more. So happy to be together again.
One by one, we claimed our seats and settled down for the first hand. We looked around at each other. Smiling, waiting for something to happen. Then, slowly, almost in a fog, it seeped into our brains. We looked at each other in disbelief just before the laughter broke out. No one had thought to bring cards.
I mean, we’ve been playing for 50 freakin’ years — and no one thought to bring cards. It was sad. But hilarious, too. We looked at each other incredulously. We all said, how could this happen? How could anybody, everybody, forget to bring cards to a card game we had been waiting two years for?
Where we were was so far from anything. It would take a really long time to get a deck of cards. It was a sobering moment. Who’d a thought? Probably never happened before in all of history. Probably will never be repeated. I swear I detected a weird light in the air, like a misty darkness had fallen over us. What a bunch of turkeys. We laughed, a little cautiously, and shook our heads in disbelief as it sank in.
David began shuffling around in a nearby cabinet and came up with a weird deck of cards that looked as if they had been in there for a while. We began counting to see if they were all there when suddenly I remembered: I had a brand-new deck of cards in my car.
I’d put them there about three years ago — in case they’d ever be needed.